Not All EHRs Are Created Equal
Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom: Government-Certified Electronic Health Records Are Costly and Intrusive, Some Doctors Like Their EHR but Most Don’t; CCHF Book on EHRs to be Released This Spring
ST. PAUL, Minn.—Anyone familiar with Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom (CCHF, www.cchfreedom.org) knows the patient advocacy and privacy protection organization is no fan of the government mandate to install and “meaningfully use” Electronic Health Records (EHRs).
But not all EHRs are created equal, and CCHF acknowledges that some doctors and medical practitioners have EHR systems they like and use to the benefit of their patients. Despite this “sweet spot,” Reaction Data’s recent report notes that since EHRs have become the operating system for health care organizations, “Perhaps that’s why most physicians hate their EHR—they have no choice but to use it,” reports Healthcare IT News.
The problem arose when Congress, without knowing its impact on patient care, mandated the use of “government-certified” EHR systems to collect, share, store, link and analyze private patient information. The 2009 Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act also mandated “meaningful use” of these EHRs, an onerous and financially prohibitive mandate for many hospitals and practices.
“The government’s electronic health record experiment threatens patient safety, medical privacy, professional ethics and financial stability,” says CCHF president and co-founder Twila Brase, who attended last week’s HIMSS18 conference. “Hazards to patients are known and well documented. Yet much taxpayer money has been thrown at the highly speculative, untested EHR for political and profit purposes. Despite the hazards, doctors and hospitals that fail to use the EHR systems ‘meaningfully’ face annual financial penalties.”
On its website, CCHF shares eight hazards of digitized patient data, such as dangerous care, control of doctors, liability charges, data breaches, hackers, government surveillance, broad sharing and detailed tracking.
For many years, CCHF has been encouraging state privacy laws that would require the following:
- No data sharing without patient consent
- No patient data in state health information exchanges without patient consent
- Physician freedom to not use electronic health records
- Physicians required to inform patients about government- or insurer-prescribed treatment protocols embedded in computerized EHR systems, and any penalties for noncompliance
This spring, a new book on government-certified EHRs authored by Brase will be released. Published by Beaver’s Pond Press, “Big Brother in the Exam Room: The Dangerous Truth About Electronic Health Records” will show how Congress forced doctors to install a surveillance system in the exam room; include hard facts from over 125 studies and reports about the impact of EHRs on patient care, costs, patient safety and more; expose how patient treatment decisions are controlled and tracked by the EHR; share specific steps back to freedom, privacy and patient safety; and communicate why Americans must act now.
For more information about CCHF, visit www.cchfreedom.org, its Facebook page or its Twitter feed @CCHFreedom. Also view the media page for CCHF here. For more CCHF reports on health privacy and surveillance, visit the CCHF privacy page. For more about CCHF’s initiative to protect newborn DNA, visit www.itsmydna.org.